20. Slander & Flattery





“Nindya” (Slander) means negative criticism of somebody – to deliberate on somebody else’s actions, character, integrity, lifestyle, behavior or other attributes in the negative sense, to discuss the presumably bad qualities and doings of another person, it can be in his absence or in his presence. This is a common fashion in today’s society to either praise or criticize somebody else’s character, actions, doings or behavior, or for that matter anything connected to the person being criticized.


This criticism is normally created to let down the person being criticized in the society and in certain cases will go to extent of eliminating the person from the day today dealings and disrespect him in the society.  However, this criticism can also be positive in some cases, where the group exclaims over the good qualities of a person beyond the reality, again it can be in his absence or presence – such actions are to praise somebody for his good qualities beyond the reality– this is known as “Ustat “(flattery) in the divine language.


The interesting thing is that Nindya is very enjoyable by the common people, in all practical situations you will note that people give a lot of attention to the negative criticism of somebody else, rather than gaining from that person’s good qualities.  In all such discussions propagating Ustat (flattery) and Nindya (Slander), you will observe that for such a criticism the participants won’t mind spending a lot of their time.  There will be a very few people whom you will find avoiding such negative criticism, and concentrate and learn from the good qualities of another person. The Ustat and Nindya have been a part of the human character from times immemorial.


Let us evaluate and look at these qualities from the spirituality and Gurbani point of view. According to Gurbani there is no place for Nindya and Ustat in a Gursikh’s (disciple of the Guru) life. Nindya  – negative criticism of somebody else is a very serious mental sickness – “Mansik Rog” and so is the Ustat.


Guru Tegh Bahadr ji writes on Siri Guru GRanth Sahib (SGGS Ji) page 218 :


ousathath ni(n)dhaa dhooo thiaagai khojai padh nirabaanaa ||
jan naanak eihu khael kat(h)an hai kinehoo(n) guramukh jaanaa ||2||1||

 osathath n(n)dh dh thg khj padh nrabn ||jan nnak eh khl kat(h)an h kneh(n) gramkh jn ||2||1||


Renounce both praise and blame; seek instead the state of Nirvaanaa.
O servant Nanak, this is such a difficult game; only a few Gurmukhs understand it! ||2||1||


SGGS 218


Though both Nindya and Ustat are prohibited in Gurmat (Guru’s Wisdom), however, Nindya is a more dangerous and serious mental sickness – Mansik Rog.  We should therefore not restore to Nindya of anybody, whether he or she is a common person being controlled by the 5 Thieves (Panj Doot)  (Anger, Greed  <lust, Attachment, Self-Pride) or a holy person (Sant, Sadh or a Braham Gyani).  The consequences of Nindya are very serious and are sure to cause an irreparable damage to your spirituality as well as to your physical being.


A Nindak (slanderer) is  the person who is doing Nindya is a Selfish Worldly Person (Manmukh)  and a great fool (Maha Moorakh). Such a person might be reading a lot of Guru’s divine words (Gurbani) but never understood them. Such a person has a blackened face ing God’s court (Kala Mooh in the Dargah).   And will be very heavily punished in the court of God (Dargah of Paar Braham Parmeshwar).  He will be living in a  hell (Narak) for a long time.


 ni(n)dhaa bhalee kisai kee naahee manamukh mugadhh kara(n)n ||
muh kaalae thin ni(n)dhakaa narakae ghor pava(n)n ||6||



It is not good to slander anyone, but the foolish, self-willed manmukhs still do it.
The faces of the slanderers turn black, and they fall into the most horrible hell. ||6||


SGGS 755


Whereas the Nindak will undergo such punishment as described above, the person who is being criticized will at the same time be heavily benefited from his Nindya. According to Gurbani for the person being criticized, the Nindak is better than the mother and father of the person being criticized. Mother washes the dirt of the clothes of her child, whereas the Nindak by doing Nindya will clean the dirt of the previous lives of a person – Janam Janam Ki Mun Ki Maile, with his tongue.  Nindak destroys his current life and as well his coming many lives, before he can recover from the punishment given by Dargah and he lives in hell until then.


 janam janam kee mal dhhovai paraaee aapanaa keethaa paavai ||
eehaa sukh nehee dharageh dtoee jam pur jaae pachaavai ||1|| He washes off the filth of other peoples’ incarnations,
but he obtains the rewards of his own actions.
He has no peace in this world, and he has no place in the Court of the Lord.

In the City of Death, he is tortured. ||1||


 SGGS 380

 SANT KI NINDA (SLANDER OF A SAINT) –  is a very serious mental sickness as described earlier. The slanderer of a holy person is thrown back into the cycle of reincarnation.  He is surrounded by very serious mental and physical sicknesses. He continues in the cycle of life and death for a very long time and goes through all the punishments defined by Guru Arjun Dev Ji (in Ashtpadi 13 of Sukhmani Sahib)


This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Bhairao on Pannaa 1145
bhairo mehalaa 5 ||
sa(n)th kee ni(n)dhaa jonee bhavanaa ||
sa(n)th kee ni(n)dhaa rogee karanaa ||
sa(n)th kee ni(n)dhaa dhookh sehaam ||
ddaan dhaith ni(n)dhak ko jaam ||1||
sa(n)thasa(n)g karehi jo baadh ||
thin ni(n)dhak naahee kishh saadh ||1|| rehaao ||
bhagath kee ni(n)dhaa ka(n)dhh shhaedhaavai ||
bhagath kee ni(n)dhaa narak bhu(n)chaavai ||
bhagath kee ni(n)dhaa garabh mehi galai ||
bhagath kee ni(n)dhaa raaj thae ttalai ||2||
ni(n)dhak kee gath kathehoo naahi ||
aap beej aapae hee khaahi ||
chor jaar jooaar thae buraa ||
anehodhaa bhaar ni(n)dhak sir dhharaa ||3||
paarabreham kae bhagath niravair ||
so nisatharai jo poojai pair ||
aadh purakh ni(n)dhak bholaaeiaa ||
naanak kirath n jaae mittaaeiaa ||4||21||34||
Bhairao, Fifth Mehl:
Slandering the Saints, the mortal wanders in reincarnation.
Slandering the Saints, he is diseased.
Slandering the Saints, he suffers in pain.
The slanderer is punished by the Messenger of Death. ||1||
Those who argue and fight with the Saints
– those slanderers find no happiness at all. ||1||Pause||
Slandering the devotees, the wall of the mortal’s body is shattered.
Slandering the devotees, he suffers in hell.
Slandering the devotees, he rots in the womb.
Slandering the devotees, he loses his realm and power. ||2||
The slanderer finds no salvation at all.
He eats only that which he himself has planted.
He is worse than a thief, a lecher, or a gambler.
The slanderer places an unbearable burden upon his head. ||3||
The devotees of the Supreme Lord God are beyond hate and vengeance.
Whoever worships their feet is emancipated.
The Primal Lord God has deluded and confused the slanderer.
O Nanak, the record of one’s past actions cannot be erased. ||4||21||34||

 bhro mehal 5 ||sa(n)th k n(n)dh jn bhavan ||sa(n)th k n(n)dh rg karan ||sa(n)th k n(n)dh dhkh sehm ||ddn dhth n(n)dhak ko jm ||1||sa(n)thasa(n)g kareh j bdh ||thn n(n)dhak nh kshh sdh ||1|| reho ||bhagath k n(n)dh ka(n)dhh shhdhv ||bhagath k n(n)dh narak bh(n)chv ||bhagath k n(n)dh garabh meh gal ||bhagath k n(n)dh rj th ttal ||2||n(n)dhak k gath katheh nh ||p bj p h khh ||chr jr jr th br ||anehdh bhr n(n)dhak sr dhhar ||3||prabreham k bhagath nravr ||s nsathar j pj pr ||dh prakh n(n)dhak bhle ||nnak krath n je mtte ||4||21||34||


SGGS 1145


Slanderer of a Saint will never be able to achieve Liberation (Jivan Mukti), no matter whatever religious acts he performs (Dharam Karams).   The more the slanderer slanders, the more the Sant will enjoy more and more Amrit and will be more and more elevated in spirituality.  All the spiritual earnings of the slanderer are transferred to the Sant by God’s Court (the Dargah), and the slanderer totally loses his spirituality.


aasaa mehalaa 5 ||
janam janam kee mal dhhovai paraaee aapanaa keethaa paavai ||
eehaa sukh nehee dharageh dtoee jam pur jaae pachaavai ||1||
ni(n)dhak ahilaa janam gavaaeiaa ||
pahuch n saakai kaahoo baathai aagai t(h)our n paaeiaa ||1|| rehaao ||
kirath paeiaa ni(n)dhak bapurae kaa kiaa ouhu karai bichaaraa ||
thehaa bigoothaa jeh koe n raakhai ouhu kis pehi karae pukaaraa ||2||
ni(n)dhak kee gath kathehoo(n) naahee khasamai eaevai bhaanaa ||
jo jo ni(n)dh karae sa(n)than kee thio sa(n)than sukh maanaa ||3||
sa(n)thaa ttaek thumaaree suaamee thoo(n) sa(n)than kaa sehaaee ||
kahu naanak sa(n)th har raakhae ni(n)dhak dheeeae rurraaee ||4||2||41||
Aasaa, Fifth Mehl:
He washes off the filth of other peoples’ incarnations, but he obtains the rewards of his own actions.
He has no peace in this world, and he has no place in the Court of the Lord. In the City of
Death, he is tortured. ||1||
The slanderer loses his life in vain.
He cannot succeed in anything, and in the world hereafter, he finds no place at all. ||1||Pause||
Such is the fate of the wretched slanderer – what can the poor creature do?
He is ruined there, where no one can protect him; with whom should he lodge his complaint? ||2||
The slanderer shall never attain emancipation; this is the Will of the Lord and Master.
The more the Saints are slandered, the more they dwell in peace. ||3||
The Saints have Your Support, O Lord and Master; You are the Saints’ Help and Support.
Says Nanak, the Saints are saved by the Lord; the slanderers are drowned in the deep. ||4||2||41||

SGGS 380

s mehal 5 ||janam janam k mal dhhv par pan kth pv ||h skh neh dharageh dt jam pr je pachv ||1||n(n)dhak ahl janam gave ||pahch n sk kh bth g t(h)or n pe ||1|| reho ||krath pae n(n)dhak bapr k k ouh kar bchr ||theh bgth jeh ke n rkh ouh ks peh kar pkr ||2||n(n)dhak k gath katheh(n) nh khasam ev bhn ||j j n(n)dh kar sa(n)than k tho sa(n)than skh mn ||3||sa(n)th ttk thmr sm th(n) sa(n)than k seh ||kah nnak sa(n)th har rkh n(n)dhak dhe rrr ||4||2||41||


Sant Kabir’s neighbor died, at his death Sant Kabir cried a lot, he didn’t cry when his parents died, even at the death of his wife Loyee He didn’t cry, but people living around were surprised when Sant Kabir cried over the death of this neighbor.  This neighbor of Sant Kabir was a very severe slanderer of Sant Kabir, not only himself but a lot of other people were prompted by this person in the entire Kashi who became slanderers of Sant Kabir like his neighbor. So other people living around Sant Kabir asked Him why is he crying over His neighbor’s death who was a very severe slanderer of his.  And you know what Sant Kabir replied – this neighbor had made His devotional worship (bhagti) very easy, he was very helpful in his (Sant Kabir) bhagti, and not only that all the other slanderers in the entire town of Kashi those who were prompted by him, were helping his bhagti due to his neighbor, so the death of this neighbor caused a big loss to Him (Sant Kabir), and that is why he is crying.

 Bhagat Kabir Ji writes the following in praise of his slanderer on SGGS 339


gourree ||
ni(n)dho ni(n)dho mo ko log ni(n)dho ||
ni(n)dhaa jan ko kharee piaaree ||
ni(n)dhaa baap ni(n)dhaa mehathaaree ||1|| rehaao ||
ni(n)dhaa hoe th baiku(n)t(h) jaaeeai ||
naam padhaarathh manehi basaaeeai ||
ridhai sudhh jo ni(n)dhaa hoe ||
hamarae kaparae ni(n)dhak dhhoe ||1||
ni(n)dhaa karai s hamaraa meeth ||
ni(n)dhak maahi hamaaraa cheeth ||
ni(n)dhak so jo ni(n)dhaa horai ||
hamaraa jeevan ni(n)dhak lorai ||2||
ni(n)dhaa hamaree praem piaar ||
ni(n)dhaa hamaraa karai oudhhaar ||
jan kabeer ko ni(n)dhaa saar ||
ni(n)dhak ddoobaa ham outharae paar ||3||20||71||
Slander me, slander me – go ahead, people, and slander me.
Slander is pleasing to the Lord’s humble servant.
Slander is my father, slander is my mother. ||1||Pause||
If I am slandered, I go to heaven;
the wealth of the Naam, the Name of the Lord, abides within my mind.
If my heart is pure, and I am slandered,
then the slanderer washes my clothes. ||1||
One who slanders me is my friend;
the slanderer is in my thoughts.
The slanderer is the one who prevents me from being slandered.
The slanderer wishes me long life. ||2||
I have love and affection for the slanderer.
Slander is my salvation.
Slander is the best thing for servant Kabeer.
The slanderer is drowned, while I am carried across. ||3||20||71||

gorr ||n(n)dho n(n)dho m ko lg n(n)dho ||n(n)dh jan ko khar pr ||n(n)dh bp n(n)dh mehathr ||1|| reho ||n(n)dh he th bk(n)t(h) j ||nm padhrathh maneh bas ||rdh sdhh jo n(n)dh he ||hamar kapar n(n)dhak dhhe ||1||n(n)dh kar s hamar mth ||n(n)dhak mh hamr chth ||n(n)dhak s j n(n)dh hr ||hamar jvan n(n)dhak lr ||2||n(n)dh hamar prm pr ||n(n)dh hamar kar odhhr ||jan kabr ko n(n)dh sr ||n(n)dhak ddb ham othar pr ||3||20||71||


SGGS 339


A slanderer of a Saint  has a heart that is  full of dirty thoughts, his actions, words, and reactions are all controlled by the 5 thieves. His mental condition is very weak and he is carried away by bad thoughts very easily and quickly. The bad thoughts and words go inside him very quickly. He is always restless and longs for finding opportunities where he can do some slander (Nindya).  He is mentally very sick person. He never gets out of  bonds of reincarnation (Jaman Maran Ke Bandhan). He stays in the cycle of 8.4 million life forms reincarnation for a long time. He can’t be saved anybody except the Sant whose slander was done by him.  No other Guru or Sant or even God (Akal Purakh) can save this person from the punishments allotted to him by God’s court (the Dargah).  He can only be saved from such punishments if he goes back to the Sant he has criticized and asks for His forgiveness.  And if that Sant forgives him for his slander then all is well, otherwise the slanderer of a Sant will fall into the lives of snake, and other animals. He commands no respect at all. There are so many such punishments he has to go through and all such punishments are defined in 13th Ashtpadi of Sukhmani (see translation above).


Kabir ji has very strongly warned people to restrain from slandering the saint in his following verse.   There is no difference between Sant and the Almighty – the Creator, the Akal Purakh resides in the spiritual heart of a Saint. 


sa(n)thaa ko math koee ni(n)dhahu sa(n)th raam hai eaekuo ||
Let no one slander the Saints, because the Saints and the Lord are as one.

sa(n)th ko math k n(n)dhah sa(n)th rm h ek ||


kahu kabeer mai so gur paaeiaa jaa kaa naao bibaekuo ||4||5||
Says Kabeer, I have found that Guru, whose Name is Clear Understanding. ||4||5||
SGGS 793

We will very sincerely hope that the respected congregation will listen to the above wisdom of God (Gyaan of Gurbani) and will very sincerely follow the divine advice which have been brought to us through Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji  (Gyaan Saroop of Shree Akal Purakh Jee – the Shabad Guru).


A Humble Servant